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University of Maryland Receives Green Seal Certification for Green and Healthy Cleaning.

The first university in Maryland and second in the nation to achieve this prestigious certification for cleaning to protect health and the environment

October 15, 2012

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Washington, DC– The University of Maryland recently became the first higher education institution in Maryland and the second in the nation to achieve the prestigious Green Seal GS-42 Certification for cleaning service providers. Green Seal is the leading, independent provider of certification and science-based standards for cleaning to protect health and the environment.

“Protecting the environment and the health of our students is a vital part of our mission” according to Jack B. Becker, UMD Director of Operations and Maintenance. “Achieving Green Seal certification represents a multi-year effort that included training for our managers and supervisors, adoption of new cleaning processes, use of Green Seal Certified chemicals with low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), and the use of high-efficiency vacuums and floor cleaners. All of these efforts help to improve the environment and our indoor air quality.”

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 50 percent of all illness are either caused by or aggravated by Indoor Air Quality. Following best practices for high-performance cleaning can result in five times fewer indoor air pollutants than with the use of conventional cleaning products and processes, and reduces Volatile Organic Compounds, which can cause respiratory problems and other health risks.

UMD Facilities managers and supervisors completed a 24-hour training program from the Building Wellness Institute, and the university underwent a detailed audit of its cleaning processes, procedures and business practices as part of the GS-42 certification process.

“The University of Maryland and Harvard–the only other Green Seal Certified university–have successfully integrated the protection of human health into their sustainability strategies,” said Marion Stecklow, Executive Director of the Building Wellness Institute. “Hopefully, other universities will follow the example set by these leading institutions and a growing number of K-12 schools and commercial cleaning contractors.”

ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT
Facilities Management (FM) supports the University of Maryland in its mission of achieving excellence as the State’s primary center of research and graduate education and the institution of choice for undergraduate students of exceptional ability and promise. We are responsible for the physical campus – its academic, research and administrative spaces, the infrastructure that supports the buildings, and the landscape that surrounds them. Our workforce of about 800 employees brings a rich diversity of backgrounds, talents and skills to the management of this complex environment. Our six departments serve the campus community twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year.

ABOUT GREEN SEAL INC.
Green Seal, a non‐profit based in Washington D.C., has been identifying products and services that protect the environment and human health since 1989. The Green Seal mark appears on over 3600 environmentally responsible products and services, and Green Seal is accredited by the American National Standards Institute. The independent organization focuses on certification to its leadership standards, avoiding any conflict of interest that may arise from recommending products or consulting with applicants. For more information and a list of all Green Seal‐certified products and services, visit www.GreenSeal.org.

ABOUT THE BUILDING WELLNESS INSTITUTE
The Building Wellness Institute helps facility managers, building owners, building service contractors, and environmental services staff protect the health and comfort of their building occupants through comprehensive training, consulting and assessment programs. Our training programs and services, delivered by seasoned professionals with cross-discipline expertise in occupational and environmental medicine, public health, industrial hygiene, toxicology, and chemical engineering, are designed to facilitate GS-42 certification, gain points toward LEED certification, and support a wide range of environmental wellness goals. www.buildingwellness.com

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